Residents Associations: catalysts for development

Residents Associations have a mandate to empower residents in order for communities to develop.

In an interview with CITE, Bulawayo Progressive Residents Associations (BPRA) Organising Secretary Ambrose Sibindi said resident associations should aim at empowering residents through educating them on community development, and human rights.

“As BPRA we hold meetings with young people, mothers, the elderly in different wards to educate them on how we can work together to ensure the community develops,” said Sibindi.

“It is our obligation as a resident association to show residents the importance of working together for the sake of the community.”

He said resident associations play a significant role in showing residents the value of working and living together.

“Resident associations are important because they show residents what can be achieved if people are united,” said Sibindi.

He added: “In our meetings with residents, we encourage landlords to be responsible and pay bills so that their tenants do not suffer for the debts that they do not owe.”

Sibindi stated that residents also need to be empowered on holding the people in authority accountable.

“What people need to understand is that councillors are not “chefs” they are appointed to serve the people,” he said.

“As residents associations we need to educate residents so that they know how they can present their grievances to their councillors.”

Sibindi added that councillors and MP’s should know that when they are put in a position of power they are not meant to be dictators.

“Councillors and MP’s should take the opportunity to speak to residents, ask them what they want so that they can fully represent them,” he said

Bulawayo Residents Association (BURA) chairperson Winos Dube, said BURA is a pressure group that ensures service providers deliver all services required by residents.

“As the mother of all resident associations, we are always in touch with service providers and play a watch dog role to make sure they deliver on a daily basis to the residents,” said Dube.


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